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Posted 11/29/2022 by Honeycomb Agency

Your essential guide to branded merchandise solutions

Your essential guide to branded merchandise solutions

What are branded merchandise solutions? 


Branded or promotional merchandise refers to everyday or unique items that bear the logo of a particular company. 


Most of us have examples of branded merchandise around our own homes and offices. It could be a calendar with a company logo, a cap with a familiar brand name on it, a tote bag or a branded umbrella. 


A branded merchandise solution describes the strategy a business or agency comes up with to choose, design and distribute branded merchandise to customers, whether they are consumers or other businesses. It can also encompass a strategy to share branded items with staff, partners and other stakeholders. 


Why choose a branded merchandise solution for your business?


It makes sense; branded merchandise/promotional items help a business get noticed and remembered. Consider one study, which found that a branded bag in Sydney will receive over 5800 impressions. The same study also found half of U.S. consumers who own logoed drinkware use it 2-3 times a week or more.


Sharing branded merchandise helps strengthen connections with your customers and makes your brand more memorable. If you give people something useful or worth hanging onto, it’s like you are advertising to them (not to mention the people around them) every day. The average time someone keeps a promotional item is eight months, giving it a long time to make an impression. 


Branded merchandise can be impactful for: 


  • Staff welcome packs
  • Staff member milestones
  • Client anniversaries
  • Gift with purchase
  • Buyer incentives (buy to receive a free item)
  • Onboarding gifts for new clients
  • Gifts for prospective clients
  • Thank you gifts for referral partners 
  • Christmas or other holiday gifts
  • Conference or event delegates
  • Festival goers
  • Commuters (as a brand activation giveaway)


How to choose the right branded merchandise solutions


Sharing promotional items and branded merchandise allows your business to be creative, helpful and unique. 


The items you choose as part of your solution can come down to your brand and your tone of voice. For example, if you are an upbeat, youthful brand, you may be able to have fun with novelty items, unusual ideas and bright colours. A more professional business such as a financial magazine may decide to share embossed notepads or diaries, which are more meaningful to their target audience. 


When it comes to branded merchandise, you are really only limited by your imagination (and perhaps your budget). However, you should aim to tailor your ideas to relate to your company and clients. Some ideas include: 


  • Branded backpacks and towels (ideal for fitness studios)
  • Umbrellas for staff members
  • Office stationery 
  • Water bottles and reusable coffee cups
  • Clothing such as hoodies, t-shirts, caps and socks
  • Novelty items such as fidget toys
  • Practical items such as key chains, bottle openers and glassware
  • Tech gifts like headphones, phone covers and mouse pads


Almost any item can be branded, from uniforms to tools and hardware. Work with an agency to come up with branded merchandise solutions that suit the target audience, and choose products that will look good with your logo on them. 


Promotional items made easy


Some companies have a standing order for branded merchandise which they update every couple of years. There is no harm in taking this approach as even branded pens cost less than a tenth of a cent per impression. Your business may find it works well to work with a promotional merchandise agency to source and order a set number of hats, pens and hand towels, which go out to customers and staff members according to a schedule. 


Another simple solution to control stock levels is to create a company store. This allows people to order branded items via an online portal and minimises the need to keep stock on site at your office. You can offer vouchers to the company store, give access to senior staff members and/or set annual spending limits. 


Working with an agency on your branded item strategy is cost-effective because it will have connections with low-cost manufacturers in Australia or overseas and will ensure you don’t overpay when you order branded merchandise. You'll also skip the stress of trying to find a supplier that is easy to work with and setting up a provider agreement with them. 


Take branded merchandise to the next level


Sometimes there is something to celebrate, such as summer or a big business milestone. One effective idea is to shape your merchandise choices around this and come up with a solution to match. For example, give away branded inflatable pool toys in summer or offer branded champagne flutes to mark a major milestone. 


A final and highly effective option is to personalise the branded merchandise you give to prospective clients. If you can give clients a key chain or notepad with their own name on it as well as your logo, they will be likely to hold onto it for longer. This can be a winning strategy at a conference or tradeshow because you are encouraging delegates to place a request for a branded item and then return to collect it at the end of the day. Your business will have the opportunity to ask for their telephone number or email address, which can help to continue the relationship. 


Thousands of businesses around the world develop a branded merchandise solution as part of their marketing because it has proven time and time again to work. It can involve very little cost per item and be highly effective in terms of return on investment. 


A final statistic: Consumers are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of promotional products compared to internet advertising. This is why so many brands continue to use this form of marketing to attract attention and stay memorable. 

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